FOOTBALL in the Nambucca Valley will remain on hold until May 31 at the earliest.
The national governing body of football in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), has announced that grassroots football would remain in suspension for the time being.
While unsurprising, the news is disappointing for the many thousands of players across the North Coast who are itching to play when it is safe to do so.
"The biggest participation sport on the North Coast was in for a big year; one of its best ever. We had more nominations for teams than last year and the new Coastal Premier League was ready to roll," North Coast Football general manager Andrew Woodward said.
"Whenever we get the go-ahead to play, we will be ready. The pilot light will remain on to ensure we recover quickly in the post-pandemic era.
"We're continuing to work behind the scenes on preparing for competition, in a variety of formats.
"Contact with our 24 clubs is daily, as we work with them on issues generated by the suspension.
"We're working on developing the game locally during the suspension with online training for coaches and recruitment of referees.
"Players can keep preparing too. Nothing is stopping a player whether they're five years old or 60 years old continuing to get ready for the season in the backyard or lounge room.
"Locally, we've developed and distributed train-at-home materials for players and clubs."
The FFA has also developed a National Skills Hub, allowing players to stay connected with the football community while ensuring both physical and mental well-being remain strong.
"Nothing beats competition on the pitch and our referees can't wait to give the signal," Mr Woodward said.